7.2/10
28,107
178 user 60 critic

The Andromeda Strain (1971)

A group of scientists investigate a deadly new alien virus before it can spread.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A crack team of top scientists work feverishly in a secret, state-of-the-art laboratory to discover what has killed the citizens of a small town and learn how this deadly contagion can be stopped.

Stars: Benjamin Bratt, Christa Miller, Louis Ferreira
Certificate: GP Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft.

Director: Douglas Trumbull
Stars: Bruce Dern, Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin
Soylent Green (1973)
Crime | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation, an NYPD detective investigates the murder of a big company CEO.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young
The Omega Man (1971)
Certificate: GP Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Army doctor Robert Neville struggles to create a cure for the plague that wiped out most of the human race.

Director: Boris Sagal
Stars: Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash
Logan's Run (1976)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An idyllic sci-fi future has one major drawback: life must end at the age of 30.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.

Director: Fred M. Wilcox
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen
Certificate: M Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Thinking this will prevent war, the US government gives an impenetrable supercomputer total control over launching nuclear missiles. But what the computer does with the power is unimaginable to its creators.

Director: Joseph Sargent
Stars: Eric Braeden, Susan Clark, Gordon Pinsent
Adventure | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A man's vision for a utopian society is disillusioned when travelling forward into time reveals a dark and dangerous society.

Director: George Pal
Stars: Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe
Outland (1981)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In the distant future, a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy, and gets no help from the populace when he later finds himself marked for murder.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Sean Connery, Frances Sternhagen, Peter Boyle
THX 1138 (1971)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the twenty-fifth century, a time when people have designations instead of names, a man, THX 1138, and a woman, LUH 3417, rebel against their rigidly controlled society.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley
Rollerball (1975)
Action | Sci-Fi | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In a corporate-controlled future, an ultra-violent sport known as Rollerball represents the world, and one of its powerful athletes is out to defy those who want him out of the game.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Major Manchek
Kermit Murdock ...
Dr. Robertson
Richard O'Brien ...
...
General Sparks
...
Mark Jenkins ...
Lt. Shawn (Piedmont team)
Peter Helm ...
Joe Di Reda ...
Wildfire Computer Sgt. Burk (as Joe DiReda)
Carl Reindel ...
Lt. Comroe
Edit

Storyline

When virtually all of the residents of Piedmont, New Mexico, are found dead after the return to Earth of a space satellite, the head of the US Air Force's Project Scoop declares an emergency. Many years prior to this incident, a group of eminent scientists led by Dr. Jeremy Stone (Arthur Hill) advocated for the construction of a secure laboratory facility that would serve as a base in the event an alien biological life form was returned to Earth from a space mission. Stone and his team - Drs. Dutton, Leavitt and Hall (David Wayne, Kate Reid, and (James Olson, respectively)- go to the facility, known as Wildfire, and try to first isolate the life form while determining why two people from Piedmont (an old wino and a six-month-old baby) survived. The scientists methodically study the alien life form unaware that it has already mutated and presents a far greater danger in the lab, which is equipped with a nuclear self-destruct device should it manage to escape. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The picture runs 130 minutes!... The story covers 96 of the most critical hours in man's history!... The suspense will last through your lifetime! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 March 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Andromeda - Tödlicher Staub aus dem All  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In September, 1972, Universal was exhibiting this on a double bill with Airport (1970) under the tag line "Together On One Great Family Program". See more »

Goofs

When Hall first uses the Medcom program on the computer in Level 5, the word "analysis" is misspelled as "ANALYS". See more »

Quotes

P.A. Voice: B Z Doris to I Z Alice, SDT energy output is 1-point-8 to 3-point-0 joules with rate 2 to 3 milliradians. And we still need those blankets!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is no music over the end credits. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Bionic Woman: The Vega Influence (1976) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Great hardcore sci-fi. Crichton's best
3 July 2005 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

The 1970s were a time before some of the "intelligentsia" of American culture began to abandon rationality and reject science on pseudo-ethical grounds. Unsurprisingly, then, 1970s sci-fi is often better informed by science than the sci-fi of later decades, and it is also often more thoughtful and intelligently written. The Andromeda Strain is one of the best hardcore sci fi epics from a decade which brought us such genre classics as 2001, Solyaris, Silent Running, and the original Rollerball. Unlike most of these films, however, Andromeda Strain does not strain believability beyond its bounds, nor does it indulge in metaphysical tangentializing or philosophical moralizing.

Developed from what I consider to be Michael Crichton's best book, the Andromeda Strain takes its cue directly from the hard realism of that book, along with its documentary style and scientific background research. Though aspects of the plot defy biological probability, if not law, almost the entire film is plausible. Also borrowed from Crichton's writing is the general point the film attempts to make - one which is present in nearly all of Crichton's work - that along with technological advance comes risk. Fortunately, however, this story does not reach the near-paranoid levels of technophobia which sometimes appear in later works.

A great ensemble cast full of not easily recognized character actors represent a team of scientists called together to contain and manage a deadly virus-like organism which has arrived on a crashed space research probe. The virus has already wiped out an entire town, and now the scientists must work at a breakneck, sleepless, pace to determine what the organism is, how it spreads and grows, and how it can be killed or contained. Their only major clues, it seems, are an old man and a baby who survived the initial outbreak. To avoid spoilers, I will avoid any further details regarding the plot.

The only aspect of the film which really seems dated is the strange electronic soundtrack, which, at times, seems more derivative of 1950s sci-fi than more modern stuff. Suffice to say that this is one of the best uses of the 'as-it-happens' documentary film-making style. The entire film is delivered in a very refreshingly straightforward manner, with believable dialog, actors that look like real people, and a pace that builds constantly from start to finish.

Highly recommended.


36 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page